ADHD and Music Therapy

Music therapy can complement traditional treatments for ADHD. Learn more and see why it's worth considering for your child.

By Reader’s Digest Editors

Parents of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be aware that there are treatments beyond traditional approaches, such as medication and counseling. Alternative treatments can provide great benefit. Music therapy, in particular, has been shown to boost and complement standard regimens.

Music therapy, in a basic sense, is the use of music to improve wellness. The American Music Therapy Association describes it as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” In a post on HealthCentral.com, “Music Therapy for ADHD,” expert Eileen Bailey says that music influences moods and can help children with ADHD by decreasing and improving their symptoms of restlessness and impulsivity.

Music therapy may involve listening to and creating music, playing amid pre-recorded music, and even composing music, or writing song lyrics. Therapists use music to initiate and improve communication with children about their feelings.

Musical talent is not necessary for benefiting from this particular therapy, nor is one musical style more therapeutic than another. This is what makes music therapy an alternate approach that’s both accessible and versatile.

Learn more about ADHD by visiting the National Institute of Mental Health.

Sources: HealthCentral.com, American Music Therapy Organization

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